Arctic Ship Traffic Data

shutterstock 213023194The Arctic Ship Traffic Data (ASTD) project is an initiative from PAME to collect historical information about shipping activity in the Arctic. The project will collect historical information on shipping activity in the Arctic from the Arctic Council member states for trend analysis and related purposes under the realm of the Arctic Council.

The ASTD project will allow the Arctic Council member governments and the Arctic Council as a whole, to facilitate trend analysis on ship traffic in the Arctic, including the number of ships in the Arctic, types of ships, exact routes and other related and relevant information. The trends can be used for the council members Arctic affairs.

Products will benefit a wide-range of audiences, as the data repository will allow for the production of graphics, maps and tables of ship traffic information to be used in reports/analyses and other initiatives. This project is a significant step by PAME to reduce the knowledge gap of circumpolar ship traffic in the Arctic as its member governments have been actively looking for ways to increase vessel traffic awareness since 2011.

With changes in the Arctic sea ice extent and projected changes and increase in shipping in the Arctic, the database will allow the Arctic Council to be at the forefront of monitoring trends and assessing any changes for use in its studies, assessments, trend analyses, and the development of recommendations that enhance Arctic marine safety and support protection of Arctic people and the environment.

The project is based on the database developed in 2005 for the release of the Arctic Marine Shipping Assessment Report (AMSA 2009). It is therefore an initiative derived from the AMSA 2009 Report and builds on similar principles, but will be applying a more advanced technology for data collection and presentation.

This project has the same goal, but will look to secure sustainability by collecting and providing ongoing historical shipping data, rather than collecting information for a given year like the 2005 AMSA database did. The Arctic Ship Traffic Data (ASTD) project will use the same geographical scope as its predecessor where each Arctic member government defined its own Arctic waters.

See a video about the project:

shutterstock 214744963The project will develop a comprehensive shipping database which has the capability to collect and display detailed statistics on various aspects of shipping in the Arctic and has the capability to incorporate additional features as may be needed in the future. That includes datasets on biodiversity in the Arctic and environmental data.

The Norwegian Coastal Administration will host and oversee this database within their current platform of their marine database - Havbase. This new shipping database will be compatibility with others systems such as the Arctic SDI platform and the Arctic biodiversity data service.

The Shipping Database will help the Arctic Council grasp the unprecedented changes in Arctic Shipping realized over the last decade. It will furthermore give the Arctic Council and its subsidiary bodies a unique opportunity to utilize reliable shipping-related data layers from the eight member states in for example scientific assessments, monitoring, research projects, policy-related work, outreach, communication and teaching.

The aim is that this databased by fully running in 2018.

Below is a video demonstrating the capabilities of the Havbase system:

See also:

MPA Network Workshop - September 2016

shutterstock 203526946PAME's workshop - “Science and Tools for Developing Arctic Marine Protected Area (MPA) Networks: Understanding Connectivity and Identifying Management Models,” took place in Washington, DC from 22-23 September 2016.  The workshop is one in a series whose purpose is to support a PAME project studying best practices for linking area-based conservation measures to categories of Arctic marine biodiversity in support of the long-term conservation of the Arctic marine environment and associated services and cultural values.

The workshop included:
i) a discussion on species that highlight the importance of ecological connectivity in the Arctic marine environment, as well as possible approaches and methodologies for mapping selected elements of ecological connectivity for some of those species, and
ii)  a discussion on a draft list of types of area-based conservation measures that benefit different categories of Arctic biodiversity (i.e. the "toolbox").

IMG 0507Project Description
PAME’s Framework for a Pan-Arctic Marine Protected Areas Network document recognizes that individual Arctic countries pursue MPA development based on their own authorities and priorities, and that MPA networks can be comprised of "both MPAs and other area-based measures that contribute to network objectives”.

PAME’s “toolbox” project aims to develop guidance to assist countries in advancing MPA networks in the Arctic. The project will produce this guidance in the form of a catalogue of examples of diverse existing area-based measures, including different types of marine protected areas and of “other area-based conservation measures” that contribute to the long-term conservation of important categories of Arctic marine biodiversity (e.g. important species and habitats).

Over the course of the 2015-2017 work cycle, project leads are hosting two workshops. While the first workshop focused on toolbox development by identifying and mapping types of connectivity in the Arctic, the second will focus on connectivity and climate change. The toolbox is intended to be a living document that is built on and refined over time.

Workshop objectives:
  1. Develop our understanding of ecological connectivity for different marine taxa.
  2. Identify priorities for future scientific or other types of collaboration to enhance understanding of ecological connectivity in the Arctic.
  3. Based on input provided by Arctic States, share examples of different management tools used to manage categories of marine biodiversity (e.g. habitat, marine taxa).
  4. Identify priorities for expansion/refinement of “MPA Toolbox” to support Arctic states’ MPA network development.
  5. Identify potential next steps to advance understanding and management of MPA networks among Arctic Council Working Groups and other partners.

Name of presentation Presenter    Download   
Ecological connectivity --- Overview of techniques that have been used to map larval dispersal and its relevance to MPA design: modelling (optimal size and spacing), direct observation of larval dispersal, genetic measures of connectivity/isolation, considerations of climate change Mark Carr (University of California, Santa Cruz)  Download
Physical connectivity – Issues and possible approaches to mapping physical and habitat connectivity in the Arctic. Overview of dynamics of water masses and ice movement Pat Halpin and Jesse Cleary (Duke University) Download 
Case study – Sweden’s experience mapping larval connectivity for MPA networks Jon Havenhand (University of Gothenburg)  Download
Approaches and considerations for understanding connectivity for marine mammals using various techniques Howard Rosenbaum (Wildlife Conservation Society)  Download
Mapping connectivity for cetaceans in the Alaskan Arctic – CetMap Janet Clarke (Leidos)  Download
Local community engagement in mapping and understanding marine mammal connectivity Willie Goodwin (Alaska Waterways Safety Commission)  Download
Overview of techniques: satellite telemetry, habitat modeling, others?, in the context of Important Bird Areas Grant Gilchrist (Environment Canada)  Download
Identifying Important Bird Areas and seabird connectivity in the Alaskan Arctic Melanie Smith (Alaska Audubon)  Download
Case study: Identifying candidate sites for an MPA network in the Russian Arctic: accounting for connectivity Irina Onufrenya (WWF Russia)  Download
The role of protected areas and other area---based conservation measures for marine conservation Dan Laffoley (IUCN World Commission on Protected Areas --- Marine)  Download
Elements of a representative and ecologically connected MPA network Mark Carr (University of California, Santa Cruz)  Download
Understanding categories of Arctic biodiversity to be addressed by the MPA Toolkit (e.g. habitat, species groups) Martin Sommerkorn (WWF)  Download
Canada’s Approach to Marine Conservation Targets Bethany Schroeder (Fisheries and Oceans Canada)  Download
Arctic biodiversity monitoring: linkages to area---based conservation measures Tom Christensen (Circumpolar Biodiversity Monitoring Programme)  Download
Pikialasorsuaq Commission Carolina Behe (Inuit Circumpolar Council)  Download
Examples of Arctic MPAs and “Other area---based conservation measures” in the marine environment (based on submissions by Arctic States to PAME) Martin Sommerkorn (WWF)  Download
Integration of Indigenous Knowledge and Values in the MPA Toolbox Willie Goodwin (Alaska Waterways Safety Commission)  Download
Towards a toolbox: deploying MPAs and other area---based measures to conserve important categories of Arctic marine biodiversity Martin Sommerkorn (WWF)  Download

PAME Reports

Meeting Reports        SAO Reports        Reports to Ministers
The PAME Working Group generally meets twice per year. Each meeting produces Records of Decisions which form the basis for the meeting reports. Click on titles to open PDF documents in a new window. The reports to the Senior Arctic Officials are generally short and concise overviews of the PAME working group proceeedings between SAO meetings. They give an update and overview on ongoing projects. SAO meetings are held regularly but progress reports are generally released once per year. The reports to the Ministes are releases from PAME on numerous subject the working group works towards. They range from progress reports to new reports and updates to others. They are releases every two years and put forward to ministers for approval as official Arctic Council reports.

PAME-I: Copenhagen (Denmark)
PAME-II (Sept.): Helsinki (Finland)

PAME I: Stockholm (Sweden)
PAME II: Portland, Maine (USA)

PAME I: Akureyri (Iceland) 
PAME II: Tromsö (Norway)

PAME I: Girdwood, Alaska (USA)
PAME II: Whitehorse (Canada)

PAME I: Rovaniemi (Finland)
PAME II: Rostov-on-Don (Russia) 

PAME I: Stockholm (Sweden)
PAME II: Halifax (Canada)

PAME I: Oslo (Norway)
PAME II: Reykjavík (Iceland)

PAME I: Copenhagen (Denmark)
PAME II: Washington D.C (USA)

PAME I: Oslo (Norway)

PAME I: St. Johns, Newfoundland (Canada)
PAME II: Helsinki (Finland)

PAME I: Copenhagen (Denmark)
PAME II: Reykjavík (Iceland)
RPA Workshop, Reykjavík (Iceland)

PAME I: Oslo (Norway)
PAME II: Murmansk (Russia)

PAME I: Copenhagen (Denmark)
PAME II: Aalborg (Denmark)

PAME I: Helsinki (Finland)
AMSP Meeting Report, Reykjavík (Iceland)

PAME I: Stockholm (Sweden)

PAME I: Reykjavík (Iceland)

PAME I: Washington D.C. (USA)
PAME II: Moscow (Russia)

PAME I: Copenhagen (Denmark)

PAME I: Ottawa (Canada)
PAME II: Akureyri (Iceland)

2015: Iqaluit (Canada)

2014: Yellowknife (Canada)
 - Progress report (Oct)

2013: Rostov-on-Don (Russia)
2010: Ilulissat (Greenland)

2009: Copenhagen (Denmark)
Other documents:
AMSA Follow up
AOR Project

2008: Kautokeino (Norway)
Other documents:
PAME Presentation to SAO's
Proposed AMSA Document and Process/Timeline to Ministerial 2009
Observed Best Practices Document

2008: Svolvær (Norway)
Other documents:
PAME Presentation to SAO´s
AMSA Presentation to SAO´s

2007: Narvik (Norway)
Other documents:
PAME Presentation to SAO´s 
AMSA Presentation to SAO´s 
AMSA Progress Report 
RPA Presentation to SAO´s 
RPA Progress Report 
Updated list of Projects and Activities 

2007: Tromsö (Norway)
Other documents:
PAME Presentation to SAO´s 
AMSA Presentation to SAO´s 

2006: Syktyvkar (Russia)
Other documents:
PAME Presentation to SAO´s

2005: Khanty-Mansvisk (Russia)
Other documents:
PAME Presentation to SAO´s 

2005: Yakutsk (Russia)

2004: Selfoss (Iceland)

2003: Reykjavík (Iceland)

2003: Svartsengi (Iceland)

2002: Oulu (Finland)

2001: Espoo (Finland)

2001: Rovaniemi, Finland

2000: Barrow (Alaska, USA)

2000: Fairbanks (Alaska, USA)

2017: 10th Arctic Council Ministerial meeting, Fairbanks, Alaska (USA)

Reports for approval:
Reports for information:

2015: 9th Arctic Council Ministerial meeting, Iqaluit (Canada)

2013: 8th Ministerial meeting, Kiruna (Sweden)

2011: 7th Ministerial Meeting, Nuuk (Greenland)

2009: 6th Ministerial Meeting, Tromsø (Norway)

2007: 5th Ministerial Meeting, Salekhard (Russia)

High-level attendance at ShipArc 2015

shutterstock 24751726PAME is co-organizing a conference on Arctic shipping with the International Maritime Organization (IMO) and the World Maritime University (WMU). ShipArc will be held in Malmö, Sweden from the 25th to the 27th of August 2015.

“The conference will be a major event for PAME and the Arctic Council this year. Preparations begun last year and the schedule is very exciting,” Soffía Guðmundsdóttir, the executive secretary of PAME said.

ShipArc squareAmongst key speakers are leading scholars who have participated in PAME’s work. One of them is Dr. Lawson Brigham who was the co-editor of of the Arctic Marine Shipping Assessment (AMSA) and served as a vice chair of PAME from 2005-2009.

Another is David VanderZwaag, who co-leading the writing of the Governance of the Arctic Shipping chapter of the AMSA report. “We are thrilled to have such high-level participation from PAME and numerous of our experts will be attending as well. There should be dialogue among our leading people in Malmö,” Soffía said.

There are six themes to the conference. The Polar Code: Implementation & Compliance Assurance; Beyond the Polar Code; Arctic Governance; Sustainable Arctic Business Development; Protection of the Arctic Marine Environment; Training, Capacity-Building, Science & Research.

soffia“In our preparations we decided to focus on six themes for this conference. We could have chosen many others as the topic is broad, but we felt that these six themes are current and appropriate. The conference is title Safe and Sustainable shipping in a changing Arctic Environment and the scene is certainly under constant evolvement.”

“We have two themes that discuss the Polar Code which was recently adopted by the IMO. The Polar Code has been anticipated for some time and this will be the prefect venue to introduce it and discuss its role in Arctic shipping. IMO’s experts and others will present it and discussions on what happens next will take place.”

See the conference website for more information. Registration is ongoing and Malmö is only a 20-minute train ride from Copenhagen.